Scope and Content Note

This series consists of abstracts compiled from original muster rolls of New York State units that fought in the Civil War, including the 20th and 31st U.S. Colored Troops. The abstracts provide information on the history and engagements of the units and on the enlistment and military service of individual members.

The abstracts are printed forms which were completed by hand. The fore of the abstracts for each regiment provides a list of the unit's commanding officers as well as their company and promotion or muster out dates. In a few of the abstracts a detailed history of the unit may appear. This history includes: dates of organization; areas from which each company was recruited; the unit's nickname; larger units to which the company was attached, including dates and location; list of engagements; number of men killed, wounded or missing for each engagement (further broken down by officers and enlisted men); and aggregate totals of losses suffered during war, including those inflicted by disease. The individual abstracts for each enlisted man provide the following data: date of enlistment; age (in years); place of enlistment and for how long; date mustered in; grade; company; regiment; date left organization; reason for leaving (killed, discharged, deserted, etc.); in what grade; explanation; and remarks.

The remarks usually provide information pertaining to: promotions; attendance at roll calls; participation in engagements; wounds received; physical appearance (eyes, hair, complexion and height); and circumstances surrounding dismissal from service.

Some of the abstracts differ slightly in that spaces are provided for place of birth, age, occupation, eyes, hair, complexion, height, and Congressional district. Attached to some of the individual abstracts are original volunteer enlistment papers, discharge papers, duplicate special and general orders, or correspondence regarding amendment of military records. These attachments are an exception rather than the rule. Few abstracts contain these attachments.